The Walking Dead Season Two: In Harm’s Way Review

Gaming

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The Walking Dead Season Two: In Harm’s Way
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (Reviewed)
Release Date: May 15, 2014
Price: $4.99 – Available Here

Overview
Over the course of the first two episodes in Season Two of The Walking Dead Telltale Games have managed to turn Clementine from a girl who we used to protect and try to teach to a survivor trying to do her best in a terrible situation. Separated from everyone she once knew, Clementine found herself a new group only for that group to come with danger far different from a Walker. Now after the events of A House Divided, how will Clementine handle being In Harm’s Way?

Story
Of course it is worth noting right at the beginning here that this review will cover events that happened in the first and second episode which means that there will be spoilers for All That Remains and A House Divided from here on, though no significant spoilers for this episode will be revealed.

That being said, those who have already played A House Divided likely realize that a number of their decisions during the final half of that episode will play a role in how many survivors Carver actually managed to capture as a couple of characters might have met their end last episode. Using two separate save files to identify the changes, there are some noticeable differences depending on whether or not these characters survived and it will be interesting to see how their survival will affect things from here on out.

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As mentioned, Clementine, Kenny, and the rest of the new survivors have been captured by Carver’s group and have been taken back to Carver’s base, which is more like a prison community than anything else. As we have seen a bit in the past, while zombies are dangerous the humans can be destructive to everything around them and with Carver we have a new villain that players will likely grow to hate after his brutal introduction last episode.

Carver makes for an interesting villain and I say this because although he is a cruel cold blooded killer with a dictator complex that strikes fear into those around him, there is a certain part of me that sees where he once might have been a reasonable person before forced to become the man we see in this game.

With Clementine and the rest of the survivors now a part of Carver’s community there are a number of intriguing situations in place as we meet new characters that are so desperate for help that they are willing to listen to Carver regardless of what he does, as well as those who might be willing to help Clementine and the others escape what Carver has become. That being said, the new characters are a mixed bag with only one of the newly introduced members at Carver’s camp being noteworthy while others are a bit annoying to be honest.

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Either way, players are placed in a different situation this time around mainly because there are a number of times that players will need to make specific decisions that will possibly stir up distrust amongst the group as well as side with an old friend or your new ones. Throughout this episode we see a number of characters developed as well as some more choices that, may seem small for now, but at least a few will have major consequences for how things will turn out.

It is worth noting that those who picked up the 400 Days DLC will notice that a number of characters from the DLC might appear at Carver’s camp alongside Bonnie and Tavia depending on who went with you at the end of the 400 Days episode. Their roles are unfortunately rather minimal as they play background characters with only a few lines of dialogue but it is nice to see some sort of callback here.

Gameplay
With The Walking Dead: In Harm’s Way we actually aren’t given a ton of gameplay to experience. There are still action pieces but these are spread few and far between in this episode. Instead players will be sneaking around here and there while examining a few areas as well as gathering items, even if it seems like it is nearly impossible to fail getting a specific item, making In Harm’s Way feel just as limiting as the last episode.

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The aforementioned action sequences are as satisfying as ever with quick time events or aiming required to strike a zombie properly and it is clear that Clementine is coming into her own as a survivor, even if her height and age are still limiting what she can actually pull off in a bad situation. The decisions one makes throughout the episode also remain the same but it can be said that there are a few brutal ones to make in this episode that can result in a couple of extremely bloody scenes.

Visuals & Audio
After a certain scene that players can choose to stay and watch or leave behind, it is clearly evident that Telltale’s comic book art style is the best thing for this series as the amount of gore that can be portrayed in such a style can be gruesome looking without pushing the boundary too far for some to accept. Of course the art style also remains a great looking fit that gives the game a memorable look.

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The various voice actors for the series continue to fit their roles quite nicely in this episode which is necessary to deliver the amount of drama that takes place during In Harm’s Way. The way background characters talk while trying to sneak through an area is a nice touch even if getting caught never feels like a problem and the music for the credit sequence is rather fitting.

Overall
The Walking Dead Season Two: In Harm’s Way is a brutal episode full of drama and character development as Clementine and the rest of the survivors are forced to deal with Carver and the “safe haven” run with a bloody fist. By delivering such an impactful episode that focused more on the human element than basic survival, this only raised the series’ tension further as we continue to see Clementine grow. As to what she will be growing into and what will happen next after the final events of In Harm’s Way, we will have to wait and see.

8-5-capsules-out-of-10
Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

As a big fan of anime and games I'll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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